TRAVEL SOUTH AFRICA A LETTER FROM AFRICA Nr. 2 part 1


Hello Everyone,
I hope my 2nd newsletter finds all of you happy and healthy.  Life is still great in Somerset West South Africa.  Kyleen, (my daughter) departed for the good old U.S. of A. yesterday after a 3 week adventure vacation in South Africa.  It was a very sad goodbye indeed for neither of us wanted the vacation to end.  Our time together was non-stop packed with adventure, explorations and plenty of laughs and a few disagreements in the mix.  My mother, sister, Kyleen and I rented a small home in the resort town of Hermanus (see image below) approximately an hours drive from Somerset West.

Sunset Hermanus image: Noleen Kutash ©

Between my sister and I we knew so many people there, and in typical South African hospitality, we were invited to someone’s home for a “braai” (barbecue) 8 out of our 10 day stay. The other two nights we were out and about in town partying-it-up with friends. At the end of our stay Kyleen and I were ready for our next adventure the Garden Route and back via “Route 62” through the Karoo

The Karoo image: Noleen Kutash ©

We departed at 6am on the on the N2 heading for Knysna near the indigenous forests, a resort town on a lagoon opening up into the ocean.

Knysna Western Cape Image: Noleen Kutash ©

I spend my childhood days vacationing with my parents in a place called Buffalo Bay  just a 10 minute drive from Knysna.  Here we had no electricity because there were only 99 homes in this resort and the residence fought long and hard to keep that number of homes at 99 and succeeded for many years.  The reason, if there were 100 homes electricity became mandatory and would spoil the authenticity.   Needless to say today there is electricity, but I am happy to report that the beach and the resort is still one of South Africa’s best kept secrets.  Kyleen and I had lunch in the Wilderness a resort in route and made it to Knysna just after lunch.  We unloaded our bags at the hotel and sett off to explore the town.  I drove to Buffalo Bay on my own at sunset to reminisce about days gone by.

Sunset Buffels Bay Image: Noleen Kutash ©

To view the sand dunes that helped shaped my carves, from spending endless days climbing them, with my friends.  Just for the rush of running down them at breathtaking speeds without anything to stop us – but the Indian Ocean.  I though about my dad and how well he provided for us, and thanks to both my parents, wherever I go in this country I’m filled with fond memories of childhood adventures.  Anyway, the next day we were back on the N2, our next stop Plettenberg Bay It is very much like the South of France and the South of Spain a lot of posturing.  It’s a magnificent looking resort, honestly of all the beach resorts in the world, Plettenberg Bay has to be in the top 5. Unfortunately it was raining and there was a lot of mist.

Plettenberg Bay

A very dear friend of mine Ray, has a sister by the name of Noel, and she owns several businesses in “Plett”.  I called her and she took over our social calendar for the next 2 days.  We had dinner with her and her boyfriend and several other fascinating people from across the globe at her restaurant. By all accounts Noel’s restaurant was “the place” in town.  We had a blast in Plett and met some very interesting people through Noel.

Kyleen and I did leave Noel and her ritzy crowed in Plett on our 2nd day to go ride the zip lines over the treetops of the Tsitsikamma Forest. Boy!!! Did we love that? All we wanted to do, was to do, it all over again.  On the way there and back we had to stop several times to wait for the baboons, for they just sat in the middle of the road, watching us watching them.

Zip Line Tree top
The next morning we checked out of our fabulous “Cornerway Guest House” in Plett, for it was time to leave the coast line of the Garden Route and head back towards Somerset West, via Route 62, through the Karoo (see image below).  A completely different climate, dry and very, very hot with quaint Afrikaans towns.  This is sheep & cattle country as well as ostrich farming and vast open landscapes as far as the eye can see.  We traveled via a town called George on the N2 and then from George we took the N12 to Oudtshoorn.  Here we stopped in at a distant cousin of mine for tea and advice on where we could go to ride some Ostriches (see images below)



Ostrich Rides Oudtshoorn Image Noleen Kutash ©

Ostrich Image: Noleen Kutash ©

From Oudtshoorn we drove to De Rust had lunch at a typical Karoo town restaurant with a slight twist, called the Trading Post.  There was a flat screen DVD playing a concert by Dutch musician Andre Rue in the background, everyone seemed glued to the screen, although the volume was real low.   I asked if we could turn it up and the patrons all agreed.  Soon the entire place was singing and clapping hands whiles we sat under misting sprinklers (just like Las Vegas, Nevada) in an attempt to keep ourselves cool.
It was hot, very hot we are talking 44 degrees Celsius.  From “De Rust” we embarked once again on another mountain pass towards Meiringspoort and then on towards Prince Albert our destination Mai’s Guest House, to rest before we embark on the the dreaded Swartberg Pas in a sedan instead of a 4-wheel drive.
  
The adventure continues in TRAVEL SOUTH AFRICA A LETTER FROM AFRICA  # 2 part 2